Thursday, 10 April 2014

EVITA (UK Tour) Review April 2014

The second leg of a UK tour for Evita sees the production visit Birmingham for two weeks, where the breathtaking musical is set to stun audiences most certainly. 

Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical adaptation of Eva Perón's life story is once again fronted by Portuguese singing sensation Madalena Alberto. From flirtatious, brunette latino girl, to the blonde high-flying woman of business, Alberto completely encapsulates each moment of the brutal, tragically short life of Eva Perón - spiritual leader of the nation. 

Cynically assessing the immediate mourning of Evita's death is Che Guevara - the Argentine Marxist revolutionary, Wet Wet Wet singer Marti Pellow. Che is a demanding sing and Pellow ploughs through the score with ease and holds a mightily impressive last note in 'And The Money Keeps Rolling In'.  Whilst he may not be the most obvious choice for the role, Pellow's less angry, more subtle tones accompany the sarcasm of his words and create a character that is not only narrating but forewarning. Mark Heenehan remains a strong addition as Perón and Nic Gibney's impressive vocal range is evident in his few outbursts as the less-often featured but crucial character, Magaldi. One of the productions stand-out moments comes from Sarah McNicholas as Perón's Mistress and her beautiful version of 'Another Suitcase In Another Hall'.

A strong ensemble play a variety of roles - with ample time to showcase their versatility. In particular, Perón's Latest Flame is a strong group effort - regimented choreography executed with the tightest of timing. I wouldn't say Evita was a dance musical, but this dynamic, energetic and enthusiastic ensemble make sure it's worthy competition.

Madalena Alberto proves to be the ultimate Eva Perón and makes her way through the powerful and demanding score with effortless conviction. From the steamy and fast paced partying in Buenos Aires to the tender, fragile final moments upon her deathbed you'd be forgiven for thinking you saw two different people - the contrast is almost unbelievable.

The score is most beautiful and played by a fine orchestra - combine with an incredibly talented cast such as this and the audience are well and truly drawn in. You cannot help but fall in love and have your heart broken by Evita. Do not miss the musical masterpiece at Birmingham Hippodrome until 19 April. Get tickets here.

Cast List: Marti Pellow, Madalena Alberto, Mark Heenehan, Sarah McNicholas, Nic Gibney, Michelle Pentecost, David Brewis, Verity Burgess, Errol Clayton, Joel Elferink, Callum Fitzgerald, Alyn Hawke, Ryan Limb, Joe McCourt, Anna McGarahan, Stuart Maciver, Ceili O'Connor, Lizzie Ottley, Olive Robinson, Chris Stoddart

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